Freud, Ryobi, and the Sander Sitter

Tool Test


Freud, Ryobi, and the Sander Sitter

Freud (pictured above)
There are literally hundreds of commercially built router tables to choose from and most of them are very good. Some woodworkers, however, prefer to make their own because they want to customize the under-frame or cabinet.

Freud has solved the problem and come up with an interesting compromise. The new Freud Router Table Top is a large 32” x 24” melamine laminated top that is a full 1” thick and melamine backed for stability. The new table top includes a recessed aluminum 3/4” x 3/8” ‘T’ miter slot and a universal mounting plate. What a perfect way to top off your own custom built router cabinet.

For even more accuracy, add the optional Freud SH-5 Micro-Adjustable Router Table Fence system to it (a five-star rating in Canadian Woodworking June/July 2001) and you have got yourself one heck of a good router table. As a bonus, Freud includes plans for a basic plywood base.

The instructions that come with the RTT-01 say to clear coat the MDF edges if you plan to use the Router table in damp areas. We think that this should have been done in the manufacture of the table top.

All in all, we think that the RTT-01 is a four-star router table and a good beginning for a custom-built Router Station.


The new Ryobi is keeping its engineers pretty busy. It seems that at least once a month there is a new power tool being made available.

Ryobi is filling a nice niche in the tool business. They are making excellent quality tools at “weekend woodworker” prices. This latest issue is an excellent example.
The Ryobi TR-31 is a 3/4 HP Laminate Trimmer/Router with a 1/4” collet and turns at 23,000 RPMs. Aside from its obvious use being that of edge-trimming  laminates such as melamine, it is also a mini-router.

There have been many times that I have found a large plunge router just too wieldy to use in tight spaces. In such cases the TR-31 would really fit the bill. Its compact size makes it real easy to handle. I chucked an ogee router bit into it and easily put a fancy edge on some 3/4” oak.

The TR-31 comes with a 10’ power cord and two transparent plastic bases. The smaller one is designed for trimming and the larger base, with its two control handles, is used for conventional routing.

The TR-31 does not have a shaft lock on it, therefore, it requires two (included) wrenches for bit changing.

For $139 at Home Depot, (Ryobi Tools are sold exclusively by HD) the four-star TR-31 delivers a big bang for your buck.
Sander Sitter


We have been wanting to try one of these Sander Sitters for some time now. They have been featured at most of the wood shows during the last year and we finally got our hands on one.
First and foremost, the Sander Sitter is a time saver. Waiting for a random orbital sander to stop spinning before you can set it down is a real pain. The Sander Sitter has come to the rescue. We tried four brands of 5” sanders (Porter-Cable, DeWalt, Ryobi and Black & Decker) in the Sitter and although it does keep the sanders relatively still, there is some movement at first. However, after time (a couple of weeks of use) we found that the sawdust filters into the bearings of the carousel and the movement becomes minimal. Noise was a factor at first but the sawdust cures that too.

We like the idea of a crepe sandpaper cleaner pad being incorporated into the Sander Sitter and it did clean the sanding discs quite well. We give the $24.95 Canadian-made Sander Sitter four stars.
In our Feb/Mar 02 issue the rating of the Craftex Spindle Sander was incorrectly shown as a three star tool. It should have read four stars.
Editor’s Note:
The HiPURformer polyurethane glue in the tubes (reviewed Feb/Mar/02) may harden at the nozzle after periods of non-use. The people at Franklin International tell us that this is normal due to moisture absorption. It is easily corrected by drilling into the end to allow the hot glue to blend with the hardened portion.

GRAHAM McCULLOCH is a woodworker and writer living in Halifax, NS
Graham McCulloch

(902) 479-0221

Related Articles

Hand Sanders

Dust Collection

1/4 Sheet Finishing Sanders

Shop Tools: There are two aspects of woodworking that most people just cannot seem to get enthusiastic about – one is finishing and the other is sanding. Unfortunately, if you don’t do a thorough job sanding your project, the results...

Craftex CX506 Disc Sander

Shop News: A shop workhorse